I set off early from my lonely campsite. It was a small climb past long dry streams and springs. I was in need of water. The first cow pond was so disgusting I didn’t consider it drinkable, even after treatment. The second spring, Dana Springs, was dry, but the holding tank for the spring had some residual water left. It looked drinkable but involved some acrobatics to manoeuvre into the tank deep tank.
It was a cold day that only seemed to get colder as the day progressed. My down jacket and thermal pants stayed on all day, as did my gloves. By 11am it got significantly colder as the biting wind increased and low, wet clouds filled everything. It started to snow. It wasn’t heavy. Just that light intermittent snow that didn’t settle on the ground. I didn’t bother with my rain jacket but my rain pants did keep the cold wind from affecting me.
At times the wind, rain and snow would cut right into my core and I would suffer. Other times there was no wind and I would burn up and sweat. The weather was playing games with me.
Mid afternoon a car was on the middle of the trail. It was Grizzly and Snakebite. They had pre arranged to meet me with a warm vehicle, beers, soda and food. I hiked with Grizzly on the PCT last year, he was called Mr Smith back then. If there was ever a perfect place and time to catch up with him it was then. The worst of the weather hit as we sat in the warm vehicle chatting, eating and drinking. Lucky and Rampage were also recipients of the trail magic. They arrived about an hour ahead of me. After several hours of warmth and laughter we set of hiking. Thank you Grizzly and Snakebite. Hope to hike with you both next year.
Lucky, Rampage and I made a couple more miles before fading light and apathy had us setting up camp. Soon after camp was set up and dinner eaten it started to rain, or was it snow. Our campsite was less than 2 miles from the house that Ted Kaczynski lived in. Who was he? Maybe you know him by his other name, ‘The Unibomber’!